Latvia and US sign deal on Naval Strike Missile Coastal Defence Systems
Latvian Defence Minister Andris Sprūds and Ambassador of the United States of America to Latvia, H.E. Mr Christopher Robinson, announced the agreement on purchase of Naval Strike Missile Coastal Defence Systems produced by Norwegian company Kongsberg and the US manufacturer Raytheon.
“We highly appreciate the contribution of the US to our national security at a time when the world is facing various geopolitical challenges. Naval Strike Missile Coastal Defence Systems will expand the range of capabilities available to the National Armed Forces and will play an integral role in our national defence. It will enable us to protect our coastal area and safety of shipping lanes. These systems will also be available for Alliance’s collective defence when necessary,” Defence Minister Andris Sprūds said.
“We mark an important milestone in the longstanding security cooperation between the United States and Latvia. Russia’s brutal aggression against Ukraine has shown that democratic countries need to stand together at the guard of their sovereignty, values and freedom. The United States is proud to support Latvia in building its defensive capabilities,” US Ambassador Christopher Robinson highlighted.
The total cost of the procurement will reach USD 105 million. US will also provide major financial support in the acquisition of Naval Strike Missile Coastal Defence Systems, covering 70% of the total costs, while Latvia will cover the remaining 30% of agreed costs.
Naval Strike Missile Coastal Defence System can hit targets on sea and land within the range of up to 185 kilometres. These systems are also used by other NATO member states, such as USA, Poland, Germany, Norway, Romania, the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands.
Naval Strike Missile Coastal Defence Systems will be delivered in 2027.
As reported earlier, in April of 2022 Saeima (Parliament of Latvia) adopted amendments to the Law on Financing National Defence. According to the Law, national defence spending will be gradually raised to 2.5% of the projected annual gross domestic product by 2025. Moreover, according to National Armed Force missile capability programme, priority capabilities include naval strike missile coastal defence systems, medium range air defence systems and artillery systems. Additional funding approved for these purposes will speed up the development of critical National Armed Force capabilities by approximately five years compared to initial plans.